A FAMILY are raising cash to cover the medical costs for a Seaham dad who died in Cyprus and to help cancer charities.
Dean Parry was living in Cyprus when he was diagnosed with cancer in his left kidney after having a routine check for a suspected kidney stone or infection.
The 43-year-old was dealt the devastating blow in March last year, with doctors giving him up to two years to live.
The dad of two’s dying wish was to return home to see out his final months, and his loved ones launched a campaign to raise the 21,000 euros needed to cover the cost of an air ambulance to fly him back to England.
Sadly, Dean, a factory supervisor, died before the appeal reached its target.
Now, his family and friends are rallying around to raise more cash to cover the cost of his outstanding medical bills and back the Cypriot cancer charity that supported Dean, his wife Mandy and daughters Rhianne, 16, and Olivia, now six months old.
Funds will also go to Bradley Lowery, an East Durham two-year-old also facing a cancer fight.
Mandy says Dean’s family now plan to return to Seaham, adding: “We decided Dean needed to return to sunny Seaham so that we had our families and friends around us to help us resettle, and to help Dean when the time came.
“This all changed when he passed away, but the fund-raising will now be in Dean’s memory.
“Dean never complained all the time he was ill. He took it by the horns and was not giving up.
“We knew the time was coming, but he still laughed, wound me up and supervised from his hospital bed.
“I do believe everything happens for a reason, and though I’m struggling to see what the reason is this time, something positive has come from it.”
Dean died last month and was given a funeral service in Seaham.
Events including a sponsored sky-dive, boxing day dip and walk, an entertainment night and a pub crawl have already been held to bring in cash, and on Friday a fund-raising football match was played at Seaham Red Star.
Members of the Seaham branch of the Sunderland Football Club Supporters’ Association, which Dean had served on as a committee member, took on Dean’s Allstars, made up of his friends and family.
A sportsmen’s night featuring former Sunderland assistant manager Bob Saxton was also held at the Knack Club in Eastlea, Seaham, on Saturday.
His sister Dawn Purdy – married to Gary, 46, and mum to Kirsty, 23, and Kayleigh, 19 – is among the fund-raisers too.
The 46-year-old said: “When he was in hospital, he would send me messages on Facebook saying ‘you should be doing this and doing that’, and we talked about all the support he was getting.
“He would be over the moon about what we are doing now and to think all his family and friends and people were coming together to do something.”
Dean was a popular uncle to his nieces and nephews and also leaves behind parents Dorothy and Malcolm and his in-laws Alan and Ann-Marie Oliver.
The next fund-raising event is a sponsored walk on Saturday from the Knack to the Stadium of Light, which starts at 10am.
More details are available via the Facebook page Help Parry Punch Cancer.